Better Laptop Designs to Be Released This Year

January 26, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. revolutionary (adj.)  [rev-uh-loo-shuh-ner-ee] – extremely new or different
Example: The invention of the telephone was revolutionary because it changed the way we communicate.

2. decline (v.) [dih-klahyn] – to move towards a downward direction
Example: Product sales declined this month due to the typhoon.

3. hybrid (adj.) [hahy-brid] – something made from the combination of two different things
ExampleHybrid cars are powered by gasoline and electricity.

4. mainstream (adj.) [meyn-streem] –accepted or preferred by most people
Example: Pop music is considered mainstream form of music.

5. sleek (adj.) [sleek] – stylish and attractive
Example:  She bought a cellphone with a simple but sleek design.

Read the text below.

According to technology industry analysts, the most revolutionary designs in portable computers will be released in 2012. However, buyers are advised to wait until the end of the year to purchase these products at their best value.

The biggest change in laptops will come from the influence of Apple's MacBook Air, as PC creators release the thin and light “ultrabook.” Super slim ultrabooks, introduced a decade ago by Apple, weigh less than 3 pounds, but still have the speed and power of larger laptops, and with at least 5-hour battery life.

Other devices to revolutionize the PC industry are hybrid ultrabooks -- ultrathin laptops with screens that can be lifted off and used as PC tablets. Microsoft is scheduled to release hybrid ultrabooks by October 2012 after it releases its Windows 8 tablet.

There will also be a new demand (especially from students) for thin and light laptops with similar capacity as netbooks, which became popular three years ago but eventually declined because of tablets. These laptops are as light as MacBook Air but with slow processors and small storage and sold at cheaper prices.

However, ultrabooks might still be too expensive for the mainstream buyers. Already released  ultrabooks  such as Acer's S3 and Asus' UX31 cost between $899 to $1,299. Analysts advise people to wait until the last few months of the year when companies are likely to release updated models that can be bought at more affordable prices.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

      Would you want to purchase an ultrabook? How about a hybrid ultrabook? Please explain your answer.
      What kind of laptop computers do you think will be released in the future?

Discussion B

      How would you describe the changes in gadget designs throughout the years?
      Do you think that the smaller and lighter a gadget is, the better it is? Please explain your answer.


January 26, 2012